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An Oracle concerning Tyre


The oracle concerning Tyre.


Wail, O ships of Tarshish,

for your fortress is destroyed.

When they came in from Cyprus

they learned of it.


Be still, O inhabitants of the coast,

O merchants of Sidon,

your messengers crossed over the sea


and were on the mighty waters;

your revenue was the grain of Shihor,

the harvest of the Nile;

you were the merchant of the nations.


Be ashamed, O Sidon, for the sea has spoken,

the fortress of the sea, saying:

“I have neither labored nor given birth,

I have neither reared young men

nor brought up young women.”


When the report comes to Egypt,

they will be in anguish over the report about Tyre.


Cross over to Tarshish—

wail, O inhabitants of the coast!


Is this your exultant city

whose origin is from days of old,

whose feet carried her

to settle far away?


Who has planned this

against Tyre, the bestower of crowns,

whose merchants were princes,

whose traders were the honored of the earth?


The L ord of hosts has planned it—

to defile the pride of all glory,

to shame all the honored of the earth.


Cross over to your own land,

O ships of Tarshish;

this is a harbor no more.


He has stretched out his hand over the sea,

he has shaken the kingdoms;

the L ord has given command concerning Canaan

to destroy its fortresses.


He said:

You will exult no longer,

O oppressed virgin daughter Sidon;

rise, cross over to Cyprus—

even there you will have no rest.


13 Look at the land of the Chaldeans! This is the people; it was not Assyria. They destined Tyre for wild animals. They erected their siege towers, they tore down her palaces, they made her a ruin.


Wail, O ships of Tarshish,

for your fortress is destroyed.

15 From that day Tyre will be forgotten for seventy years, the lifetime of one king. At the end of seventy years, it will happen to Tyre as in the song about the prostitute:


Take a harp,

go about the city,

you forgotten prostitute!

Make sweet melody,

sing many songs,

that you may be remembered.

17 At the end of seventy years, the L ord will visit Tyre, and she will return to her trade, and will prostitute herself with all the kingdoms of the world on the face of the earth. 18Her merchandise and her wages will be dedicated to the L ord; her profits will not be stored or hoarded, but her merchandise will supply abundant food and fine clothing for those who live in the presence of the L ord.


15. And it shall come to pass in that day. After having spoken of the taking of Tyre, he next declares how long her calamity shall endure. It happens that cities which have been ruined are suddenly restored, and regain their former position; but the Prophet testifies that this city will be desolate and ruinous for seventy years. By being forgotten he means that there will be no merchandise, because she will not have the ordinary course of trade.

According to the days of one king. 115115    {Bogus footnote} Some think that the days of one king relate to David, but that is exceedingly frivolous, for “the days of a king” are put for the age of a man, in the same manner as the age of a man is shewn by the Psalmist to be generally limited to seventy years. (Psalm 90:10.) But why did he mention “a king” rather than any other man? It was because Tyre had a king, and reckoned time by the life of a king. This contributed greatly to establish the certainty of the prediction, for the Prophet could not have ascertained it by human conjectures.

Tyre shall have a song like that of a harlot. By “the song of a harlot” he employs a beautiful comparison to denote merchandise; not that in itself it ought to be condemned, for it is useful and necessary to a commonwealth, but he alludes to the fraud and dishonesty with which it frequently abounds, so that it may justly be compared to the occupation of a harlot.

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